Laboratories of Democracy – Part II Sixty Years of Liberal Governance

After 60 years of total liberal control , all blue states can do is to cry “racism”.

Laboratories of Democracy – Part II

Sixty Years of Liberal Governance

By: George Noga – March 28, 2021

This is the second of MLLG’s four-part series: Laboratories of Democracy. In case you missed Part I – no worries; it is on our website: The idea underpinning laboratories of democracy is that, under our Constitution, states have enormous latitude to experiment with different laws and policies. States can, and often do, take different, and even opposite, positions on issues such as right-to-work, marijuana legalization and gun control to name but a few. Over a period of decades, it should be possible to compare results and to adopt the successful policies and to reject the failed ones.

If one political party, governing under one unified philosophy, could control all the levers of power in entire states for 50-60 consecutive years, surely that should provide ample time to demonstrate the success or failure of that governance. There are such places in America; this is the story of the ones that experimented with and tested progressive shibboleths and liberal dogma for at least the past half century.

Liberals and their media adjuncts are absolutely certain their ideas are correct and that opposing ideas are not only wrong but dangerous and even evil. Surely, if there were places in America where they could showcase their ideas for a long enough time, it would prove beyond any doubt that liberalism worked. Surely, their economies would thrive and hordes of people would move there. Surely, it would provide a great quality of life and social harmony. Surely, such a veritable Xanadu would demonstrate the utter bankruptcy and depravity of capitalism, free markets and conservatism.

What would such a progressive utopia be like? It would have a high minimum wage, no right-to-work law and universal unionization – with great pay, benefits, job security and early retirement with medical benefits. It would defund the police and abolish cash bail. It would be highly regulated by a massive bureaucracy. Its schools, controlled by teachers unions, would spend double the national average per pupil. It would tax (personal and business) and borrow whatever was necessary to pay for it all.

Such a utopia would be a sanctuary state with uber-strict gun control. The homeless would be welcomed even if it endangered public health and safety. Shoplifting, drugs and arson would be decriminalized. New pipelines would be banned and green energy mandated. Rent control would be universal and evictions banned. If a pandemic hit there would be lengthy lockdowns and closures – including all schools. To cap it off, government would be run predominantly by woke minority elected officials.

These progressive utopias exist and have names; they are called Illinois, Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey, Maryland, New York and Rhode Island. What are they like after 60 years under the progressive yoke? Are people streaming in from red state hellholes? These liberal utopias, like all utopias throughout history, are dystopian wastelands where life has become toxic and people are escaping in droves to red states.

It is impossible to hold a perfumed handkerchief to one’s nose to somehow make these progressive snake pits smell right. People are voting with their feet. Liberalism failed and failed abjectly. Even liberals are tacitly conceding their dogma is poisonous. They know government schools can’t educate inner city children, so they quit. Instead of uplifting poor kids, they are destroying successful ones by abolishing advanced and gifted programs. By gosh – if everybody can’t get on the lifeboat, no one can.

It is incandescently clear: politics is not the pathway to black success.

So, progressives and their media acolytes simply quit. After 60 years they no longer can escape what so plainly stares them in the face. But, instead of taking responsibility for their failure, they are resorting to their old chestnut, i.e. blaming it on racism. In the end, liberals always resort to screaming systemic racism; that’s all they have.

There is one other critical lesson in all this. For the past 60 years, as black elected officials increased from 1,000 to 25,000 (including a two-term president), it is incandescently clear politics is not the pathway to black success. There is no relationship between the success of black leaders and inner city black families; maybe success has more to do with stable families, education, and hard work.


April 4th is Part III – Travels in Blue State America.

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Red October – A Tale of Six Islands

Communism promises Xanadu, Valhalla, Elysium and Zion; it delivers North Korea,
Venezuela, USSR and Cuba. It promises a Garden of Eden but delivers hell on earth.
Red October – A Tale of Six Islands
By: George Noga – October 8, 2017
      Our month-long series chronicling 100 years of communism continues; this week we compare island nations with command economies to ones with market economies. There is something about the self-contained nature of islands that invites comparisons. For good measure, we contrast liberal US cities and states with conservative ones.
       Communist Cuba, a brutal dictatorship, has a failed economy; its GDP ranks 137 and its freedom index 171. Most Cubans’ take home pay is $30/month. It is a nihilistic society where one-third of all pregnancies are terminated. Socialist Greece, constantly being bailed out by its neighbors, is a failed state. Uber-liberal Puerto Rico is bankrupt; it owes $75 billion in bonds and $40 billion in unfunded pension liabilities – equal to $100,000 per household. People are rapidly fleeing this crime-riddled wasteland.
       Singapore is rich; less than 20% of its economy is in the public sector and taxes are half that of the US. It ranks #2 in the world for economic freedom. The #1 place for economic freedom is affluent and capitalist Hong Kong. Taiwan, a vibrant free market democracy, ranks high in both wealth and freedom. A mere few generations ago all six of these places were desperately poor. Today, the ones (Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan) that chose freedom and capitalism are all rich. The ones (Cuba, Greece, Puerto Rico) that chose collectivist, anti-market schemes are impoverished hellholes.
       Deep blue states (California, New York, Illinois) are hemorrhaging people with 1,000 each day abandoning them for deep red states (Texas, Florida, Utah). They move to escape blue states’ confiscatory taxation, job killing minimum wages, forced unionization, welfare fraud, choking regulations, green energy mandates and social pathologies. As humans always have done, they gravitate to places with economic freedom where household income is $10,000 higher and people are happier.
        Many cities have been governed by progressive politicians, often for more than a half century; Detroit, Newark, Cleveland, Chicago, and Washington come to mind. The legacy of such liberal stewardship is bankruptcy, shrinking population, failed schools, high taxes and crushing debt. They are dismal, dangerous and dirty places. If liberal policies worked, they should be thriving magnets showcasing progressive ideas and the failure of free market capitalism. Instead, contrast these failed cities with successful ones such as Dallas, Houston or Salt Lake City. Whether it be islands, states or cities, it is clear that more liberty and less government works and that socialism fails.
       As I oft have written, liberalism (and every one of its collectivist cousins) is a lie. They promise Utopia, Xanadu, Nirvana, Elysium, Valhalla and Zion but what they give you is death and desperation as in Venezuela, Cuba, the USSR and North Korea. Economist Ludwig von Mises nailed it nearly 75 years ago when he wrote:
    “The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent on abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want the government to be omnipotent. They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into one gigantic post office with every man but one a subordinate clerk in a bureau.”

Red October continues next Sunday with “Socialism, Sweden and Scandinavia”.

Revenge of the Gods of the Copybook Headings

Kipling warns mankind to heed the wisdom learned since we lived in trees.  When we ignore these eternal truths, terror and slaughter inevitably follow.
Revenge of the Gods of the Copybook Headings
By: George Noga – May 28, 2017
       Civilization is built on nuggets of wisdom learned from man’s behavior through the ages resulting in well understood and inviolable rules of conduct. Millennia of human experience have ingrained these rules and disregarding them inevitably leads to terror and slaughter. Copybooks once were used in schools to teach penmanship. Each page was headed by one of these nuggets of wisdom which students then copied such as “All is not gold that glitters“. These are Kipling’s Gods of the Copybook Headings.

     This post excerpts parts of the poem; the full version is readily available online. The first two stanzas of the poem follow.

As I pass through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper protestations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.
We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
that Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.
       The Gods of the Market Place refer to transient and ephemeral fads such as Tulip Mania and the South Sea Bubble. Today such Gods would include climate change, transgender bathrooms, open borders, microaggressions and government health care.

With the hopes that our world is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she even was Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshiped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.
When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed they sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “Stick to the Devil you know.”
     The Gods of the Market tell us what we want to hear – that we can spend and borrow without limit or consequence and that we can slash defense spending and still be safe. They tell us we can tax and regulate without choking economic growth. The Gods of the Market tell us we can have perpetual peace if only we ignore threats and appease North Korea, Russia, ISIS and Iran and negotiate ersatz one-sided treaties.

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.”
     The Gods of the Market promise that every collectivist, socialist, communist and utopian scheme will deliver abundance for all. But such schemes are contrary to human nature per the copybook headings. Never has socialism worked for more than a family, clan or small tribe – perhaps 25 people max. Yet this eternal lesson is lost on the people of Venezuela and far too many other places. Following is the poem’s apt conclusion.

And after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!
     Kipling’s poem goes to the heart of human nature and is just as valid now as when he wrote it in 1919. Today, America is worshiping the Gods of the Market and defying the Gods of the Copybook Headings. We continue this only at our grave peril. Water still wets us and fire still burns; the only question remaining is: how much terror and slaughter must America endure before the Gods of the Copybook Headings return?

June 4th is MLLG’s not-to-be-missed high school graduation address

Why the Left is Unhinged

This special MLLG posting explains why the left is so apoplectic after the election.
With a government so powerful it could incarcerate Mother Theresa, no one is safe.
Why the Left is Unhinged
By: George Noga – January 17, 2016
     Many of our fellow citizens on the left have become unhinged in the election’s aftermath. The main reason, thanks largely to Obama, is that presidents have become more like kings, wielding enormous power unthinkable to the founders. If presidents and all elected and appointed officials honored the Constitution, it would matter little who occupied the oval office, Congress or the judiciary. We are supposed to have a national government of few, limited and enumerated powers within a federalist system. Who is mayor or governor should be more important than who is president. However, kings affect our lives infinitely more than presidents acting within the Constitution.
     For those on the latte-left, government has supplanted religion. There was a time when we Americans saved most of our passion for religion. No more. The progressive herd not only has abandoned religion but now mocks and condemns it. They have transferred all their passion to politics, explaining much of their post-election angst.
     They not only lost an election but now see a veritable Lucifer wielding the same unchecked power Obama usurped. The progressive religion explains why libs have a messianic fervor about climate, guns, environment, identity, etc. They regard honest differences over policy as apostasy. If you have a different view about immigration, you are a racist, Islamaphobe and xenophobe – no discussion permitted. Moreover, they want to criminalize expressing your views as hate speech and to throw you in jail.
     Thirdly, everything is now political, including many things never before considered political such as science, religion, news, media and education. Science has been corrupted due to the vast quantities of federal money doled out in grants. The federal government spends $3,000 to every $1 spent by others for climate research. You get what you pay for. The media are now advocates; honest reporting has disappeared and fake news proliferates. Even fact checkers are corrupted. Facebook employs liberal censors and uses tainted, ideological fact checkers to control content.
    Finally, there is SCOTUS with one seat open and the federal judiciary with 100 open seats. There was a time when seasoned (older) largely apolitical judges were chosen on merit, served for a limited time (10-15 years), retired and soon moved on to the great court in the sky. Today, young judges are appointed because they don’t have a record that can be used against them and more importantly because, with today’s longer life expectancy, they can serve forever. As a result, the stakes for SCOTUS are sky high.
     I close with a favorite anecdote to illustrate the frightening power of the federal government. During the 1980s when Rudy Giuliani was US attorney for New York, he and his staff had a favorite game. They would select well known people from all walks of life and determine for how many federal crimes they could be indicted. Everyone, no matter how good his/her character, could be sent to prison. Included in this group was Mother Theresa. And that was 30 years ago; today it is worse – infinitely worse.

Next on January 20th is our special MLLG Inauguration Day posting.

Election Analysis and Afterthoughts

Hillary had a world class marketing team trying to sell box wine to oenophiles, more baggage than a carousel at LAX, a paranoid streak rivaling Nixon and a limitless sense of entitlement.
Election Analysis and Afterthoughts
By: George Noga – January 15, 2017
     We got it right all year! My January 17th post cited 3 principles: (1) no permanent majorities; (2) the longer a party is in power, the more likely it is to lose; and (3) economics trumps all else. I also cited 3 keys: (1) polling is dead; (2) Obamacare is wildly unpopular; and (3) demographics, i.e. for Republicans to make gains among Hispanics, Asians, women and millennials would be easier than for Democrats to make gains among whites. All 6 of these principles and keys proved to be correct.
     My September 20th special posting began “I don’t purport to know who will win the election, but I know how it will be decided. . . . It will be decided by les deplorables, good-hearted, hard-working Americans branded as racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic and Islamophobic and revulsed by the latte-left’s perversion of America and outraged about being lied to.” Those words proved to be prophetic.
     Our final preelecton post on November 6th stated the race was tightening and Trump would win if all or most of the following happened: (1) polling was flawed; (2) there were late shifts in voter sentiment; (3) Obamacare repudiation was robust; (4) government failure drove voters as in the Brexit vote; and (5) blacks and millennials stayed home while evangelicals turned out in force. BINGO! All five happened. 
     Clinton and the Democrats lost because a good, decent and just society is based on a voluntary social and economic compact between citizens and government. That compact was violated, desecrated and trampled upon by Obama, Clinton and liberal elites who would be our masters. Voters demanded change from failed hyper-progressive social and economic policies. It had nothing to do with Comey or Putin; it had everything to do with deeply flawed governance and candidates.

Post-Election Reflections

  •     Hillary outspent Trump 2 to 1 and had a better organization but, in the final analysis, the best sales and marketing are limited by the product being sold. As one pundit nailed it, they had world class marketers trying to sell box wine to oenophiles.
  •     After every defeat, Democrats delude themselves into believing that their problem lay in not getting their message out. Their problem was that they did get their message across and it was soundly rejected by the voters. They never learn.
  •     Liberals exposed their churlish souls after the election: rioting, contesting the results, tampering with the electoral college and planning to disrupt the inauguration.
  •    Voters repudiated Obama’s policies and his method of governance, although he remains personally popular. Both Hillary and Obama immeasurably aided Trump.
  •     Demonization of opponents is dead. The Democrats won in 2012 by turning a good and decent man (Romney) into an unrecognizable monster. It did not work against Trump even though he was a target rich candidate. It may never work again.
  •     Democrats obsess with branding their opponents as racists. That abomination also may never work again. Disagreement about immigration is not racism. Over 200 counties that voted for Obama in 2012 changed to Trump; were they all racists? 
  •     Steve Bannon as a Trump advisor outraged liberals who were a-okay with Al Sharpton advising Obama. Bannon has degrees from Georgetown and Harvard, served 7 years as a navy officer and had successful stints at Goldman Sachs and Breitbart News. Sharpton attended Brooklyn College for two years before dropping out, never served in the military, owes $4.5 million in unpaid taxes and is known mainly for his role in the sordid Tawana Brawley affair that a jury ruled was a giant hoax.
    The fierce, frothing-at-the-mouth animus and virulence liberals are showing for Trump is not out of concern for America or because progressives are afraid he will fail. Au contraire; it is entirely because they are  terror-stricken that he will succeed!

 Coming January 20th – an Inauguration Day retrospective of the Obama presidency

A Cri de Coeur from California

A gripping post-election letter from a disillusioned lifelong California liberal
A Cri de Coeur from California
By: George Noga – December 25, 2016
   Since beginning my blog in 2007, this is the first time I am devoting an entire posting to a single quote (edited for length). I am presenting this as an unplanned Christmas gift to readers, some of whom undoubtedly have already seen it on the internet as it is going viral. The writer wishes to remain anonymous for obvious reasons. Enjoy!
     “I am a secular/agnostic Californian and I want to share with you, from the liberal bastion of Northern California, that I am officially tired of the type of people who have surrounded me my entire life. In the wake of Trump’s election, I am experiencing “tribe fatigue”. I’m not tired of the Other, Deplorable Tribe; I’m tired of my own.
      I was raised a secular liberal; my parents were non-religious Democrats and my ex-Catholic mom loathes organized religion to this day. My college professors were secular liberals. During my journalism phase, my newspaper colleagues were secular liberals. My law school professors and peers were – in the vast majority – secular liberals. Almost everyone at my law firm was a secular liberal. My California neighbors and friends all are secular liberals as are my siblings and their spouses.
     By all rights, I should be a member in good standing of their tribe and joining their candlelight vigils against the evil Trump Administration. But November 8 and its aftermath revealed to me that I am just so tired of these people. I can’t be like them and I don’t want my kids turning into them.
  • I am tired of their undisguised contempt for tens of millions of Americans, with no effort to temper their response to the election with humility or empathy.
  • I am tired of their unexamined snobbery and condescension.
  • I am tired of the name-calling and virtue-signalling as signs of high intelligence.
  • I am tired of their trendiness, jumping on every left-liberal bandwagon that comes along (transgender activism, anyone?) and then acting like anyone not on board is an idiot/hater.
  • I am tired of their shallowness. It’s hard to have a conversation with people obsessed only with moving their kids’ pawns across the board.
  • I am tired of their acceptance of vulgarity and sarcastic irreverence as the cultural ocean in which their kids swim. 
  • I like pop culture as much as the next person but people who never raise their kids on junk food seem to think nothing of letting them wallow in cultural junk.
  • I’m tired of watching them raise clueless kids who go off to college and within months are convinced they live in a rapey, racist patriarchy; Make America Great Again is hate speech; and Black Lives Matter agitators are their brothers-in-arms against White Privilege.
  • I’m tired of their lack of interest in morality or self-betterment. They believe being nice, well-socialize people who hold correct political views is all there is.
  • I’m tired of being bored and exasperated by everybody. I feel like I have read this book a thousand times. Down with Trump! Trans Lives Matter! Climate deniers are destroying the planet! No cake, we’re gluten-free!
     Since November 8th, we have been taking the kids to church . . . secular liberalism seems empty in some way, despite all the things my former tribe has to be thankful for. I want more, especially for my precious kids; I’m trying. . . . I have come this close to buying a giant poster of the American flag for the living room. I may do it still.”
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Next up on January 8th is our take on the Legacy of Fidel Castro 

Letter to Liberals

Defining Liberalism – Part 4

By George Noga – November 22, 2014

Dear Liberal Friends:

Although I find liberal ideas (to the extent such exist) jejune, vapid and repugnant, I always have accorded you personal respect and dignity, a courtesy few of you have reciprocated. This is akin to the Christian concept of condemning the sin while loving the sinner. Most of you have been quick to call me racist, evil and other vile epithets but I do not reciprocate, again defaulting to a Christian concept, turning the other cheek. Although I have many liberal readers, my blog is not aimed at those impervious to truth and logic. This post is an exception and is expressly for you, my liberal friends.

Our personal lives, dreams and hopes are not dissimilar; we all want a brighter future for our children and a healthier planet; we live within our means; we assist those in need; we consider ourselves moral and try to do the right thing. We live-and-let-live, which interestingly is a libertarian principle. We enjoy similar pursuits and generally get along very well together. When politics rears its head however, it seems we are from different planets – make that different galaxies.

“Your credo is sentio ergo sum – I feel therefore I am.”

I view your liberalism as an emotional state in which obvious contradictions, disdain for facts, utopian fantasies, obsessive desires to control and to take from others and antipathy for all who differ – in various degrees and patterns – come to dominate your thinking. It seems that you feel rather than think; hence your credo is Sentio ergo sum, i.e. I feel therefore I am. Notice I say liberalism is an emotional state; I do not, as do many others, term it a mental illness. Churchill described your liberalism poignantly as: “the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance and the gospel of envy.”

Perhaps your liberalism was caused or exacerbated by fluoridation, EMT, the ozone hole, acid rain, GMOs, Thimerosal, dioxin, PCBs, acrylamide, BPA, pink slime or any combination of these and the 50 other instances of junk science in which you once believed – and perhaps continue to believe – and all of which have been proven false or grossly exaggerated. Did I mention anthropogenic global warming and organic foods? You embrace unreason because your progressive dogma is antithetical to objective reality and you prefer the ersatz comfort of mythology to the real world.

“Your liberalism is a lie.”

You believe the darndest things – many of which are contradictory. It is okay for a very young girl to have an abortion without parental knowledge or consent but not for her to sell lemonade in her front yard. Gender specific abortion is fine because we must kill females in order to protect their rights. Fifty million abortions are good but 1,300 executions are evil. Choice is your gold standard but you believe a woman cannot choose where to school her children, to own a gun and whether or not to buy medical insurance or to join a labor union. You believe more money improves schools, raising the minimum wage helps the poor, voter ID laws suppress minority voting, there is a war on women, government creates jobs,ad infinitum. Such modern day witchcraft inevitably leads to the syllogistic conclusion that your liberalism is a lie.

Most of you live inside a plastic bubble with other bien-pensant libs, in intellectually isolated and segregated enclaves; you live your lives without ever conversing with an evangelical Christian, conservative, libertarian or anyone from fly-over land. You attended government schools with a liberal curriculum using liberal textbooks written by leftist professors and taught by progressive unionist teachers in a milieu of political correctness.You are taught there are no values except that there are no values. There are no winners or losers because no one keeps score and everyone is above average. The media, pop culture and even religion reinforce your liberal mythology. If you ever venture outside your plastic bubble and perchance encounter truth, your first instinct is to deny it; your second is ad hominem attacks.

Your last liberal refuge is compassion and good intentions about which you never tire of regaling me. However, recent scholarship exposes your ersatz compassion as pathological altruism in which your attempts to promote the welfare of others, instead results in harm. The entire point of your falsetto compassion is for you to feel better when another’s suffering provokes unease; but this does not assure the sufferer of relief. Your interest is in accruing compassion points that you and others will admire. If you’re trying to prove your heart is in the right place, it isn’t. You regard your compassion as the central virtue that makes you good as distinguished from mean-spirited folks like me. But to bolster your rush of pious, pompous reaction, you need more victims in exactly the same way an addict needs more drugs.

“If you’re trying to prove your heart is in the right place, it isn’t.”

If you are so anguished about others’ suffering, why are you so disinterested in wasteful, misdirected and ineffective government programs? It is because you care much less about actually helping than you care about caring. Hence, it is more important for you to say or to do something rather than to accomplish something. Once you have written, spoken or even held forth at a social gathering about some government program, your work is done and you can bask in your own pious reaction. You always want a bigger welfare state for self validation rather than for helping others. That’s precisely why your mantra always is to spend more – it is really for your benefit for you to feel better about yourself.

To conclude dear liberal friends, you are all about feeling rather than thinking. You bought uncritically into every bit of junk science in your lifetime. You routinely accept grotesque contradictions as dogma. You believe so much that simply isn’t true, the only possible conclusion is that liberalism is a lie. You live in a plastic bubble where your myths are constantly reinforced. If you ever experience a conflict, you first deny the truth and then default to vicious and ugly ad hominem attacks. Unsurprisingly, studies show liberals hate more than any other group, a fact to which I can attest.

Even your compassion is phony; your tears are crocodile tears. If you really cared about the poor more than pumping up your self image, you would be more interested in the effectiveness (results) of programs intended to assist them rather than forever mindlessly spending more and more of other peoples’ money. By the way, study after study shows you talk a good game but don’t deliver; folks like me donate far more to charity than folks like you. You take great pride in your compassion and pristine intentions which you wear on your sleeve for all to see. Everything you do is to show your heart is in the right place; but if you’re trying to prove your heart is in the right place, ipso facto, it isn’t!  Have a nice day.

Acknowledgment and credit are due for the ideas presented herein dealing with the nature of liberal compassion. The books Never Enough: America’s Limitless Welfare State and The Pity Party both by William Voegeli, as well as his summary in Imprimis, were sources for this posting.

Liberalism is for the Birds . . .

Liberalism is for the Birds . . . 
Except When It Doesn’t Suit Their Purpose 
By: George Noga – May 8, 2014
       Liberals (and their sycophant media) go ga-ga over birds whenever it suits their purpose. During the BP oil spill we were saturated with images of a pelican dripping with oil, only later to learn the photo had nothing to do with BP. One year after the BP spill, credible estimates of bird deaths varied from a low of 1,200 to a high of 6,000; the Audubon Society estimate was 2,300. Nevertheless, liberals used the birds to limit or to stop new offshore drilling. Similarly, a 2013 oil pipeline rupture in Arkansas was used by activists as a cause celebre to stop new pipelines even though the verified toll was only a handful of ducks. Birds are being used as a major argument for stopping the Keystone XL Pipeline. In fact, saving birds is an argument progressives use to oppose every fossil fuel project from drilling to pipelines to fracking.
       Today, green activists are invoking the Endangered Species Act to list the lesser prairie chicken and sage grouse as threatened species. These birds are found in 11 western states where the federal government owns most of the land – 48% of California, 62% of Idaho and 82% of Nevada. Hold your breath: activists are trying to list another 757 species between now and 2018. Never mind the 757 other species; the prairie chicken and sage grouse alone are enough to stop drilling on federal land. The restrictions are so severe, it would also effectively stop drilling on private land. To be clear about this, liberals could use the prairie chicken and sage grouse to stop all drilling in 11 western states.
The Mathematics of the US Bird Population
       This post uses many numbers about bird deaths; therefore, some perspective about bird population would be helpful. Every year in the USA there are 10 billion new birds hatched. Fewer than 1,000 birds are killed each year as a result of fossil fuel activities, whereas 500,000 are killed in wind turbines including bald eagles, and golden eagles. Thus, wind energy kills 50,000% more birds than fossil fuel. Collisions with windows kill about 500 million birds (midpoint estimate) – 100,000 in New York City alone. Cats kill another 500 million annually. Cars, power lines and habitat loss kill another 1.5 billion or so. Every day in the USA nearly 15 million birds meet their fate. The best way to protect birds would be to ban cats. In any event, these numbers provide perspective; fossil fuels kill .0000001% of birds versus cats’  5.0%.
 Liberal Hypocrisy About Birds
       Okay, so liberals pretend to be birds’ best friend when it suits their purpose; what about when it doesn’t fit their agenda? I already pointed out how wind turbines kill 50,000% more birds than fossil fuels. Let’s expose several other liberal hypocrisies about birds.
       The $2+ billion Ivanpah solar project recently opened in the California desert; its 350,000 mirrors span 5 square miles. It was financed by federal tax credits and cost 400% more than a gas fired plant; the electricity it produces costs twice as much. The Ivanpah project is scorching birds that fly overhead with its 1,000 degree heat. The massive death toll has included peregrine falcons and great hawks. So far, nary a peep from environmentalists.

  • The wind industry enjoys de facto permission to violate the Migratory Bird Treaty (protecting 1,000 species) and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. The Interior Department has brought one token enforcement action against wind energy but it aggressively pursued criminal cases against the oil and gas industry in North Dakota for killing a single bird – a Say’s Phoebe. At California’s Altamonte wind project 70 golden eagles are killed annually.
  • The Interior Department granted wind farms 30-year take permits to kill eagles. The government expects to receive 15-20 applications for the new eagle kill permits. Wind and solar farms and hydroelectric facilities often destroy the ecosystem but they get a pass – essentially because they are politically correct. Get this: the liberal argument is that climate change ultimately will kill even more eagles; therefore, we have to kill eagles now in order to save them.
  • Since Obama took office 17 major solar projects have been approved on public land and received expedited approval. Not one liberal or environmental group protested this rush to build, even though these groups moved heaven and earth to protect snail darters, delta smelts and spotted owls. However, these same groups are willing to sacrifice bighorn sheep, desert tortoises and other critters on the altar of the green energy gods.
      Wind energy soaks up an obscene amount of tax dollars. It raises the cost of energy – 40% since 2003, rips apart rural communities, despoils views, kills eagles and falcons and creates noise for miles. It pollutes pristine lakes in Mongolia (where neodymium is mined and refined) with toxic radioactive tailings. The average wind turbine requires a ton of neodymium. Despite all this, wind energy accounts for less than one half percent of all energy.
“We have to kill the eagles in order to save them.”
       Above all, this documents the utter bankruptcy and depravity of liberalism. Liberals shed crocodile tears for birds on cue but are ready to throw hundreds of eagles each year into the wind turbines and scorch them to death while flying over solar farms all because they deem it politically correct. Liberals lie about birds because liberalism is all based on lies.

The Gods of the Copybook Headings

The Best of More Liberty – Less Government . . .
By: George Noga – Updated March 20, 2014

       Rudyard Kipling wrote The Gods of the Copybook Headings, excerpted herein, in 1919; It remains as apropos today as when men lived in trees because it is elemental, going to the fountainhead of our knowledge and beliefs. Kipling’s poem reveals eternal wisdom and common sense in a twenty-first century world that has badly lost its way.

         Copybooks disappeared from schools in the 1940s. Each page contained a large heading in perfect cursive – which common core now abolishes. The headings consisted of proverbs, hortatory or aphorisms which students copied to hone handwriting skills. Kipling’s poem traces man’s knowledge and superstitions through the epochs. Yet still the Gods of the Copybook Headings outlast all ersatz and transient feel-good bromides; we ignore them at our grave peril!
As I pass through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.
We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.
        Kipling’s “Gods of the Market Place” refer to transient and ephemeral trends and fads. Today such Gods would include manmade global warming, endless debt and deficits, organic food, common core and ObamaCare. Back to Kipling and Pigs with Wings.
With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.
When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
 And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “Stick to the Devil you know.”
        The Gods of the Market Place tell us what we wish to hear. Today they tell us we can spend and borrow without limit; Iran is not really building a bomb; and we can slash defense spending, appease tyrants and manifest weakness to our enemies without consequence. They tell us we can provide medical care to millions more people while simultaneously slashing the costs. However, reality, with all its discomforts and irritation, is manifest in the Gods of the Copybook Headings which tell us this isn’t so. People and nations succeed when they act in conformity with the copybook headings, i.e. the collected wisdom and experience of mankind on our planet. When copybook headings are ignored, we are bound and delivered to our foes. As Jefferson put it: “He who beats his sword into plowshares shall plow for those who didn’t.”
In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.”
Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.
         Man has achieved his present state by gradually accumulating nuggets of truth, morality and wisdom over the millennia. Nonetheless, every so often we lose touch with the veracity of the copybook headings. We then take destructive actions that set us aback, invariably with much collateral grief, suffering and death. We may be technological geniuses but we are economic, moral and political cretins. Following is the apt conclusion of Kiplinger’s epic.
As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling to the Fire;
And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!
     As Kipling describes, moral and economic truths a/k/a copybook headings are timeless and immutable; disregarding them leads inevitably to terror and slaughter. The market place is nothing but pigs with wings, i.e. fad, fable, fashion and foolishness. There are no shortages today of smooth-talking wizards promising a brave new world of perpetual peace, abundance for all, men paid merely for existing and no wages of sin. All the while such wizards mock the copybook headings. Indeed, all today’s woes can be traced to defiance of the copybook rules, what Henry Ford called “the essence of human wisdom, or as Thomas Jefferson put it: “Those who turn their swords into plowshares, will plow for those who didn’t“.
         We can worship the Gods of the Market Place for a fleeting time. But lemonade doesn’t flow in rivers and basic, immutable and unchanging human nature invariably returns to every person and nation that permits itself to become self-indulgent or to believe in myths. Science still trumps superstition; chemistry still beats alchemy; real doctors still are superior to witch doctors; and reality always outstrips illusion, ideology and dogma. Substance eternally thumps hope and change and water still wets us and fire still burns. The only uncertainty is how much terror and slaughter must there be before the Gods of the Copybook Headings return?

Conversations with a Liberal about GMOs

By: George Noga – December 1, 2013
       Recently I spent a week on the Hawaiian isle of Kauai. My visit coincided with a major political brouhaha about genetically modified organisms or “GMOs”. The residents were up in arms against agricultural interests that produce GMO seeds (mostly corn) there. In response, the local government passed a sweeping new law placing  restrictions on GMOs. Opposition is not restricted to Kauai as there are anti-GMO laws pending in several US states and Europeans’ loathing of GMOs borders on hysteria.
“GMOs are mentioned in the Bible – Genesis 30:25-43.”
       Genetic engineering is timeless. Selective breeding was practiced on corn at the dawn of human agriculture 10,000 years ago.  It is mentioned in the Bible (Genesis 30:25-43).  If you own a dog, it is safe to say it has gone through extensive genetic modifications. Circa 1973 man acquired the technology to modify DNA directly rather than via breeding. Since that time there have been many thousands of GMOs and in the subsequent 40 years not one person anywhere on the planet has experienced an ill effect – even a bellyache – from GMOs.
       While in Kauai I had the opportunity to talk with a liberal opponent of GMOs. The conversation went something like the following:
MLLG (Me): I don’t understand why you are so opposed to GMOs. They produce much more food more safely on significantly less land thus benefiting both humanity and the environment.
LIBERAL: I am against big corporations profiting from GMOs. If GMOs are that good, why are there still so many people in the world starving?
MLLG: The short answer is that  hunger today is primarily due to logistics and government interference. Surely GMOs have vastly alleviated hunger; India has become an exporter of rice.
MLLG: Even with the prices companies charge for GMO seeds, farmers in third world nations come out way ahead in the long run. They willingly spend their own money in a free market because their calculus is they will benefit at the prices they are paying. Fifteen million small farmers owning only  a few acres each in developing nations buy and plant GMO seeds.
LIBERAL: It is not right that big companies profit; in particular granting corporations patents on life forms is objectionable as it forces people to pay year after year for the same seeds. Moreover, large corporations take legal action against small farmers who copy the seeds.
MLLG: If businesses did not protect their patents they would go out of business and there  never again would be new life-saving GMO products created and everyone would be worse off.
LIBERAL: It is simply obscene and unacceptable for giant multinational corporations to go after small third world farmers struggling to get by.
MLLG: Isn’t copying the seeds without a patent the same as stealing?
LIBERAL: No, because the corporations acquired the patents unjustly; patents on plants, animals or genes must not be granted; these should be owned in common by all of humanity.
MLLG: You seem to hate bigness; are you aware GM crops are subject to hyper regulation? Because of the cost and complexity imposed by governments, only large multinational companies can afford to comply. Furthermore, small companies grow into  big companies only if they benefit a great many people by providing products they value and voluntarily purchase. Incidentally, do you also hate bigness in government? Never mind that – it was just rhetorical.
LIBERAL: It is not right for anyone to profit from something so basic as DNA or life forms; the technology should be posted on the internet or otherwise be placed in the public domain.
MLLG: It costs an enormous amount to research, test and produce successful GM crops. There are huge costs to comply with government rules and the Cartagena  Protocol on Biosafety. Without the profit motive, patents and patent enforcement, how could GMO technology exist?
LIBERAL: Governments or universities (with government grants) could do the job.
MLLG: Name anything government does well or a product produced by a university?
LIBERAL: Governments build good roads and bridges.
MLLG: Actually, governments contract with private for-profit companies to build these things.
MLLG: One final question: I know you also believe climate change poses an existential threat to humanity and you contemptuously dismiss those who disagree as being opposed to science. Given that situation, your opposition to biotechnology seems irreconcilable with your stance on climate. Your opposition to GMOs doesn’t appear to be based on science but on ideology and politics because  of your animus and antipathy toward free markets and private enterprise.
LIBERAL: I fail to see the connection.